EMOSS Electric Trucks: Road Test

On the road To gain a rare insight into what electric trucks are like to drive, we were able to intercept a couple of newly completed customer vehicles ahead of being dispatched to their new owners. Both were free from any bodywork or trailer.

The first was unusual, even in the world of electric trucks, an MAN TGS-based 6×2 tractor unit designed for a 60-tonne GCW in Norway. The truck is one of an order of three destined for airport waste removal duties, where the tender conditions not only specified zero tailpipe emissions but also low noise levels for nighttime operation through sensitive residential areas. Its vital statistics include a nine-phase motor delivering a maximum 370kW, equivalent to 500hp, and 2,500Nm of torque at all engine speeds, although this is limited from the maximum available figure of 4,000Nm.

With 280kW/hr of battery capacity on board, it has a range of at least 200km with 50% payload. The interior was fully recognisable as off-the shelf MAN, the biggest difference being the traditional pushbutton array for the Allison transmission, adjacent to a rather wobbly stalk for the retarder, which would probably be better if the function was controlled by the standard but redundant MAN column stalk. Preparing for travel, you turn the key in the normal manner, but the only clue that it’s active is the sound of the air compressor, electric of course, filling the tanks for the conventional service brakes.

To drive away, just select D on the pad and floor the throttle. Then stop quickly, as you realise the effect of 2,500Nm of instant torque on just eight tonnes or so of unladen tractor unit. A more circumspect second attempt sees a smoother take-off, almost silent apart from the pedestrian warning low-speed noise generator.

Although the part of the Netherlands where EMOSS is based is devoid of anything resembling a hill, we did manage to find a nearby motorway to get up to maximum speed, limited in the same way as a conventional truck.

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